Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bush, Perle, and Other Vacancies at Reality Hotel

In some ways, the rift between the Bush administration and the neo-con promoters of the disastrous Iraq invasion is a mirage. Bush, Cheney, Perle, and Frum might not be doing lunch anymore, but it isn't like the neo-cons are checking in to Reality Hotel either.

President Bush and Dick Cheney are convinced, maybe fanatically convinced, that staying in Iraq at all is a victory over the insurgents. To the extent that I can translate this for people who have contact with reality, this means that Bush believes that the "terrorists" expect the United States to give up on the occupation and leave. Therefore, keeping the American military in Iraq constitutes victory. As George the First said the other day, his son isn't going to cut and run.

Neo-cons may be criticizing the occupation at this point, but they haven't left la la land either. Sure, Richard Perle concedes that the occupation has been a failure, but he argues that the administration should have adapted his original position of handing Iraq over immediately to exile leaders like Ahmed Chalabi after Saddam was removed. By "exile groups," Perle of course means the secular Iraqi groups as opposed to Shiite groups like SCIRI.

Like there was a chance that would have worked!

The Iraqi exile groups had no armies, no police forces, no financial assets, and no constituency in Iraq. Handing the country over to them would have been an even bigger disaster than the American occupation.

Neo-conservatism has always been a delusional state of being. The only difference between the Bush administration and their current neo-con critics is that they're now attached to different delusions.

No comments: